Jack Whitten

September 9 – October 27, 2009

Jack Whitten, Installation view, Alexander Gray Associates, 2009

Jack Whitten, Installation view, Alexander Gray Associates, 2009

Jack Whitten, Installation view, Alexander Gray Associates, 2009

Jack Whitten, Installation view, Alexander Gray Associates, 2009

Lateral Shift, 2008

Acrylic collage on canvas

36.25h x 80.25w in (92.08h x 203.84w cm)

Persian Echo II, 1979

Acrylic on Canvas

21h x 21w in (53.34h x 53.34w cm)

Ancient Mentor I, 1985

Acrylic and oil on canvas

66.50h x 66.50w in (168.91h x 168.91w cm)

Ribbons of Honor #1, 2009

Acrylic collage on panel

5.50h x 40w in (13.97h x 101.60w cm)

Ribbons of Honor #2, 2009

Acrylic collage on panel

5h x 36w in (12.70h x 91.44w cm)

Ribbons of Honor #3, 2009

Acrylic collage on panel

5.75h x 39.63w in (14.61h x 100.65w cm)

Ribbons of Honor #4, 2009

Acrylic collage on panel

7h x 29w in (17.78h x 73.66w cm)

Ribbons of Honor #5, 2009

Acrylic collage on panel

7h x 30w in (17.78h x 76.20w cm)

Ribbons of Honor #6, 2009

Acrylic collage on panel

7h x 30w in (17.78h x 76.20w cm)

Ribbons of Honor #7, 2009

Acrylic collage on panel

6.50h x 25w in (16.51h x 63.50w cm)

Ribbons of Honor #8, 2009

Acrylic collage on panel

6.80h x 31w in (17.27h x 78.74w cm)

Ribbons of Honor #9, 2009

Acrylic collage on panel

5.75h x 39w in (14.61h x 99.06w cm)

Ribbons of Honor #10, 2009

Acrylic collage on panel

6.63h x 40w in (16.83h x 101.60w cm)

Ribbons of Honor #12, 2009

Acrylic collage on panel

4.63h x 40.13w in (11.75h x 101.92w cm)

Press Release

Alexander Gray Associates

In the exhibition, small-scale paintings Ribbons of Honor (2009), demonstrates Jack Whitten’s ability to shock and awe with color, surface tension and geometry. In these works, described by the artist as “acrylic collages”, mixed-media and acrylic surfaces are adhered to painted panels. With geometric designs inspired by the modular forms of military ribbons, the soft pink under-glow of the verso of the panels offer a tension with the bold colors, glossy and shimmering ornamentation of the poured acrylic surfaces.

Providing grounding for these sculptural paintings, works from the late 1970s and mid-1980s were also on exhibit. In Persian Echo I and Persian Echo II (1979), black and white decorative patterns create a moire-effect over softer pillows of color, juxtaposing optical tricks and impressionistic abstraction. In Ancient Mentor (1985), a pixelated grid of pressed paint is treated with color, resulting in a play with Pointillism and computer circuitry. The exhibition was further punctuated with a new black and white painting, employing Whitten’s signature tessare forms, titled Lateral Shift (2008). This work, with its strong linear forms, recalls Whitten’s Theta series from the late 1970s, and draws inspiration from the 2008 presidential election.